Normally these posts are data dumps, nearly devoid of emotion, except the emotions of the teams and players. They contain the basic information about the match. A little video, a few numbers and some selected quotes shared by the teams involved. But there was something unique about the 3-1 loss to FC Dallas.
Seattle Sounders FC did not let media into the locker room for a period of time.
Long wait before locker room opened. Not one Sounder remained in locker room to discuss 3-1 loss.— Don Ruiz (@donruiztnt) September 25, 2014
When they did no players were made available.
There are quotes from Brad Evans, but those came from the team, not from media.
Sounders media staff forwards along reaction from captain Brad Evans. I'll get that on the blog asap.— Don Ruiz (@donruiztnt) September 25, 2014
So, it would seem that something emotional is going on with the team. That's something, because the emotions around these parts aren't great either. Except the emotions around that Neagoal. That was a lot of fun.
DAL - David Texeira (Andres Escobar) 8
SEA - Lamar Neagle (Clint Dempsey) 58
DAL - David Texeira (Andres Escobar) 78
DAL - Blas Perez (Michel) 88
FC Dallas - Raul Fernandez, Moises Hernandez, Matt Hedges, Zach Loyd, Je-Vaughn Watson, Jair Benitez (Tesho Akindele 54), Victor Ulloa, Michel, Andres Escobar (Ryan Hollingshead 89), Blas Perez, David Texeira (Kellyn Acosta 84).
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Seitz, Walter Cabrera, Coy Craft, Peter Luccin.
Total Shots: 10 (Michel 3) Shots on Goal: 5 (David Texeira 2); Fouls: 13 (Moises Hernandez 3); Offsides: 1 (Blas Perez 1); Corners: 5 (Michel 5); Saves: 3 (Raul Fernandez 3).
Seattle Sounders FC - Stephan Frei, DeAndre Yedlin, Chad Marshall, Zach Scott (Djimi Traore 36), Leo Gonzalez, Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Andy Rose (Lamar Neagle 57), Marco Pappa (Chad Barrett 75), Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins.
Substitutes Not Used: Marcus Hahnemann, Jalil Anibaba, Michael Azira, Kenny Cooper.
Total Shots: 13 (Obafemi Martins 3); Shots on Goal: 4 (Three players with one); Fouls: 14 (Five players with two); Offsides: 1 (Chad Barrett 1); Corners: 2 (Brad Evans 2); Saves: 2 (Stephan Frei 2).
DAL - Michel (caution) 44
DAL - David Texeira (caution) 79
Referee: Mark Geiger
Referee's Assistants: Adam Garner, C.J Morgante
Fourth Official: Ismail Elfath
Time of Game: 1:52
Weather: Clear, 86 degrees
FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja
General thoughts on the game...
It was a very intense game. For the 90+ minutes tonight, it was just the players giving us a great show. Seattle showed why they are at the top of the conference and our boys were showing why they want to fight for a higher spot. Today was a good demonstration of the culture and the philosophy that we have here, but it was all players.
The first half was very competitive for both, and I think we controlled them. We had a plan today where it was decided to not compete much in the middle. We put the targets up front with [David Texeira] and Blas Perez. We wanted to get those second goals with Andres and Jair. I wanted to get those rebounds there and get some services in the back. I thought it worked pretty well.
In the second half, the boys executed excellently. It was a great MLS game. You can see that intensity, that commitment to the tactical part, the integrity of the game, the willingness to work for both teams - it was excellent.
On David Texeira...
David has had three great weeks and has been participating for the way we want him to do things much more, he has been growing with the group, his intensity and the rhythm that we wanted from him was there and tonight we decided to bring him in and join that spot with Blas Perez. The way he executed was all him. He gave us a lesson today in persistence, he gave us a lesson in patience and today he was a big part of the points.
Resting Matt Hedges (against L.A.) and Fabian Castillo (against L.A. and Seattle)...
Matt came out with a bit of tightness in his hamstring after the game against Vancouver and Fabian [did] also, so we wanted to take care of them. We really wanted to feel the energy of all those players against Seattle at home. I'm glad to see Matt back the lineup today and that he had an opportunity to rest.
On beating the number one team...
It's always a challenge. The key for the light to develop is to go one game at a time and one rival at a time. I don't see any rival better than any other, really. I just want them to go in with respect, but knowing that they can beat anyone.
Resting the next few days...
Now is great timing for us to rest this weekend. I cannot appreciate more the schedule at this moment, where we'll have the key players coming back. What I saw on the field tonight, I'm getting more optimistic about our roster, but indeed it's a great time for us to rest tonight.
FC Dallas midfielder Andres Escobar
Talk about your relationship with David Texeira...
Even though David [Texeira] has not seen a lot of minutes with the first team in a while, he is still out there working hard with us during training every day. He moves well in the area. He knows where he needs to be as a striker. We trained together, like we played tonight, for the past few days. Playing together obviously wasn't foreign to us. We have a great relationship on and off the field. I was very happy to be able to provide two assists to him tonight.
Three assists in two games... Has your passing been a point of emphasis for you recently?
Yes, I feel that overall, my game is improving. In Los Angeles, I was able to get a good cross in to Blas Perez, who scored a great goal and tonight with David [Texeira], two assists to him makes me very happy. I am just as happy that both forwards are feeling comfortable with me.
FC Dallas defender Je-Vaughn Watson
Talk about how much ground you covered on the right flank tonight...
It was a marathon. I think I ran about seven or eight miles. I'm so tired and still a little banged up from the [LA] game but getting three points at home is always vital and now we're in a solid position to make it to the playoffs. We do not want to make any mistakes. We are trying our best to continue winning home games because that is going to be huge for us. Any time someone comes to our home, we are expected to get three points.
When asked about the success about playing at home and the mentality of playing at home...
The fans are great. People are always cheering whether we are winning or losing. We have a good fan base behind us, especially the guys behind the goal. The drummers are always pumped up. That is motivation for us. When you are playing at home, you are expected to get three points, and every time we come into the locker room at a home game we have that urge to get those points. When we go on the road of course we go to win, sometimes it is unfortunate because we do not get the three points. At home there is no excuse, we have to play hard and run hard because this is our house.
Talk about combining with Andres Escobar on the right flank all night ...
That was the game plan. Oscar [Pareja] said we needed to go more on the right side because me and Andres have a lot of speed, the opponents cannot keep up with us. This was the game plan, giving the ball to Andres early and over lapping him. He is a very skillful player and can take on a lot of guys, so when I give it to him I tend to be free. If he gives it back to me, I tend to push on because at the end of the day you cannot buy speed. That is my strength, going forward and back, using a lot of energy. This was the game plan and we executed it very well.
FC Dallas forward Blas Perez
When asked about the game...
I feel like the game was really good, and the opportunities we had were concrete. We played solid football. The goals were taken cleanly and I hope we continue on like this.
Talk about the streak you are on, four goals in three games...
Whatever I touch goes in lately... It is clear that I have to score goals. That is how it is to be a forward. I have to take advantage of this and I am thankful to God for this. My teammates as well, without the opportunities they give me, the crosses and anything they contribute... It would not be possible without them.
When asked about going to the playoffs...
This team is promising. This team has gained intensity with Oscar's [Pareja] arrival and it is very noticeable in the field. We are going in the right direction. We have not won anything and we have to keep going with that attitude.
When asked about a playoff run...
I have to have a lot of faith. I am a man of faith. I hope my teammates feel the same way. I hope my teammates keep this collectiveness. There is a wonderful harmony in this locker room. This is good. It is a product of Oscar's great work. The mix of experience with our youth is noticeable.
When asked about playing with the younger players and Fabian Castillo missing the game...
Everyone here is on their toes. Everyone on the bench is ready to play. They're all ready to be on that field. Everyone here is focused and this concentration that the team has is very important. Although they are not playing, they still come in to play, like Ryan [Hollingshead] who comes in and makes a difference in the team.
Seattle Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid
On tonight's game...
We went down 1-0 on an early goal. We've been down in our last three, four games, I think. We've taken the first goal so it's not a good habit to be into. Came back and equalized in the second half. I thought we had some good looks. We had some good possession. We had more possession than they did overall in the game. Again, some individual mistakes. They had some good pace, ran past some people, and scored three goals. We've got to stay on our feet when we defend, and we have to defend better than that.
On his the performance of his team's defense...
I think losing Zach Scott hurt us. Zach's been a very solid part of our defense. He got bumped in the air. I'm not happy with that play. That was something that was going on all night where we were taking shots off the ball a little bit, but that's the way it's going to be in the playoffs so we have to be a little bit tougher, meaner, maybe a little dirtier at times. I don't think we were tough enough at times so that's something we've got to address with ourselves. We're expecting the calls and the referees are just really letting the game go now, but we've got to stay on our feet defensively. The third goal is a savable one for Stefan Frei. They've only got three people in the box for the header and we lose the guy. You can't lose the guy when there's only three of theirs in the box and we have five back there.
Early prognosis on Zach Scott's injury...
Don't know yet. We don't know if there's something broken or if it's just something that's jammed up. When he went up in the air, he got knocked up in the air and came off balance and jammed his ankle on his way down.
On his team's fitness after playing five games in 16 days...
It's tough to do a 12-day road trip in the middle of the season. It's long and it's hard. Not just physically, but it's hard mentally. Take nothing away from Dallas, they came out and played with a lot of energy. We felt that they would fatigue a little bit in the second half, which they did, and we had some opportunities but we didn't take advantage of it and we let them into the game. Certainly, they (FC Dallas) were there, they were focused. You could tell it was a big, important game for them, and I think their intensity was probably a little greater than ours. Take nothing away from what they did and kudos to Oscar (Pareja) for having his team prepared to play this way. I wish they would have played that way in LA.
Seattle Sounders midfielder Brad Evans
On tonight's game...
Three uncharacteristic goals from us. Obviously, the first one took a little header then a little deflection backwards and he's in on goal free. Something that hasn't happened all year, that one. Second one, we're usually good with dealing with speed in the back. For whatever reason, Escobar gets going and he gets in. For the better part of the night we were good with him, but players like that, with that kind of speed, are going to get chances and we either foul him early and take the yellow card, or we risk getting continually punished by speed down the lines so maybe just a little smarter there. The last one was just marking on a free kick and it bit us. We should be able to go on, if we score a goal, and at least get in with a tie if we want to make a push for the Suppoter's Shield and beyond. It's the kind of result we need to have away from home.
On the run of play in the second half...
They were pushing forward after we scored that first goal. Obviously, an amazing strike by Lamar (Neagle) once again, and I thought Clint (Dempsey) was able to pick up the ball in the midfield and create and push forward and we had a number of chances. Personally, if I'm on top of the box I've got to pull the trigger instead of being too cute around the box. Second half turned around because we had to.